Ed Richards during the round seven match between Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium, April 27, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

IT SHOULD come as little surprise that Ed Richards can star in multiple positions, given his football pedigree. 

After all, he is the grandson of late Collingwood great Ron Richards, who played a starring role in the Magpies’ 1953 premiership from a wing but was also an accomplished rover and half-back flanker across his 143-game career. 

The wider Richards’ clan still wish he was wearing black and white stripes every weekend, not playing for the Western Bulldogs, but alas, there is no grandfather-grandson rule. 

Not only is Ron part of Ed’s family tree, so is iconic Collingwood and football figure Lou Richards, who is his great uncle. Then there is the famous Pannam family, who played 534 games for the Magpies across the late 1890s to the 1940s. The Richards-Pannam family is more intrinsically connected to Collingwood than almost any other family. 

Lachlan Bramble and Ed Richards during the round one match between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG, March 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Richards may never play for the Magpies, but right now he is proving himself more than adept at playing as a midfielder. 

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has never been afraid to spin the magnets during his coaching tenure at the Whitten Oval. Richards has become his latest experiment over the past five weeks, especially in the past fortnight. 

Ed Richards - Time in Position




Defence %



Midfield %



Forward %



Centre Bounce Attendances 



The 24-year-old emerged as a potential All-Australian half-back last year, finishing third in the Charles Sutton Medal behind Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore. However, with Liberatore missing four of the past five games due to concussion protocols – he also missed the game against Fremantle due to illness – Richards has filled the void, attending 91 centre bounces in that time. 

Liberatore returned in round eight against Hawthorn and Richards only attended four centre bounces, playing predominantly across half-forward instead. But with the inside midfielder sidelined once more against Richmond and Greater Western Sydney, Richards has played two of the best games of his career. 

Ed Richards during the round nine match between Richmond and Western Bulldogs at the MCG, May 11, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

The Carey Grammar product amassed 34 disposals, 13 score involvements, 12 inside 50s, 10 tackles – all career-high numbers – 14 contested possessions and seven clearances against the Tigers to record the most AFL Player Ratings points (27.5) of his career in round nine.

But on Saturday, he was even more influential against GWSydney, collecting seven coaches votes after gathering 27 touches, 12 contested possessions, 10 clearances and eight score involvements in difficult conditions. 

Richards has always been deadly by foot off half-back, but now he is proving to be even more damaging with that left boot forward of centre. 

Ron and Lou Richards played together in the 1953 flag. Charlie Pannam Sr played in two (1902, 1903) at the start of the 20th century. His eldest son Charlie Jr also tasted the ultimate success twice (1917, 1919), while his other son Alby also played in two (1935, 1936). 

Ed might play for another club, but he is playing at a level that is only enhancing the family name and lineage. 

Ed Richards - Midfield Profile




AFL Player Rating Points


Above Average 




Contested Possessions



Uncontested Possessions


Above Average 




Metres Gained


Above Average 

Score Assists



Score Involvements 


Above Average 

Pressure Points


Above Average